Mission & Vision
The Miami Valley School challenges young people of promise to become self-sustaining learners and compassionate global citizens.
For half a century, MVS has provided a unique learning option for families in the Dayton, Ohio community. Today, MVS is refining a truly differentiated educational opportunity as it becomes a nationally recognized leader in academically rigorous, experience-based learning.
- Providing Tools for Self-Navigation
- Advancing The Miami Valley School Immersion Method
- Expanding Opportunities in Applied Math and Science
- Forming Healthy Relationships
- Embracing Our Community & World
- Aligning Resources, Organizational Structures, and Systems
At The Miami Valley School, our overarching goal is to give all of our students the tools to become self-sustaining and self-evolving learners, capable of successfully navigating their own future in a time of rapid global change, and confident in challenging themselves to grow personally, ethically, professionally, socially, and emotionally throughout their lives. They exhibit the tenacity and grit of the new American entrepreneur: the desire to face challenges, take advantage of opportunities, understand the nature of positive risk-taking, and manage ambiguity with the knowledge that they have the tools and personal resilience to deal with both success and failure. We intentionally practice design thinking strategies in the classroom and in the process of leading the school to ensure that our pursuit of learning remains constantly open to the possibilities of the next great idea. We acknowledge that every student learns differently, and we aspire to create a program where instruction is differentiated for our students every day.
Our lofty learning goals are achieved through a bold, intentional framework that sets The Miami Valley School apart. The Miami Valley School Immersion Method is based on the knowledge that learning is rooted in direct experience, which leads to engagement and the discovery of passion by each individual student. Everything we do at The Miami Valley School is carefully sculpted to create a community of student and adult learners who are supported in pursuit of their individual passions. Students and teachers will increasingly collaborate as co-learners in a fluid, dynamic learning-centric relationship. We recognize that this kind of learning, for both children and adults, comes at a cost…the cost of being wrong, of taking a risk, of testing new ideas, of failing. We embrace the role of risk and failure in the learning process for both students and adults, and are dedicated to balancing the lessons of success and failure in our life-pursuits.
While academic excellence is best achieved through a balanced exposure to the arts, humanities, science, and physical wellness, we know that the most rapid changes taking place in the world around us are in the areas of science, technology, and engineering. Although we place no greater weight on exposing our students to the applied sciences, we recognize that these disciplines will evolve most rapidly in the next ten years. MVS is dedicated to creating a science, technology, engineering, and math program that leverages partnerships and internships in the Dayton community and beyond to ensure that our students are fully prepared to participate in learning and professional opportunities in these rapidly evolving fields.
Youth is a time to find and grow our roots, our sense of self, a foundation upon which to build a happy and healthy approach to life. By forming strong personal relationships and creating curricular and extracurricular opportunities for students to become active participants and leaders in their school community, students at The Miami Valley School learn to celebrate both their own individuality and the culture of something larger than themselves. Because teachers share a close learning relationship with students ranging in age 3-18, we are able to build a unique progression of learning experiences. We construct that experience and, in fact, the framework of our school, around unifying interdisciplinary themes that transcend traditional boundaries of subject or grade level.
All of us benefit from a balance of fast and slow: the exciting tumult of experiencing, testing, trying, and innovating, along with the time to stop, reflect, and learn about our world and ourselves. The Miami Valley School provides an important daily sanctuary for students and their adult mentors to find this balance, through time, space, and the opportunity for quiet, thoughtful reflection and mindfulness.
We want our students to raise questions and solve problems that are at the intersection of the academic disciplines and the real world; to engage the language, methodology, critical issues, and ethical dilemmas that present existential challenges our students will face in their lifetimes. Our students will work at the front edges of those subjects about which they are passionate, which includes a deep knowledge of essential content that frees them to push forward into new territory, both for their individual growth and for the advancement of humanity. Our graduates are highly qualified to matriculate to a wide range of colleges and universities that value well-rounded, creative, forward-leaning students.
The Miami Valley School’s curriculum fosters in students a deep sense of humanity and a commitment to advancing peace in their community and around the globe. We celebrate the distinction of the Dayton community as the home of peace initiatives that have brought international recognition to our city. We recognize that true empathy comes from a deep understanding of the archeology of one’s ideas and views and how those perspectives are developed in others. The students and adults in our community will seek a deeper basis for finding common ground with people of diverse perspectives, something that offers great value and hope in our world today.
One of the four core values of MVS is rarely stated by other schools: kindness. Learning to practice kindness requires empathetic, compassionate engagement with others in our school, our community, and around the world. We will provide frequent and on-going opportunities for our students to practice kindness—to care, both in spirit and action, about the freedom, dignity, and well-being of others. We are not alone in pursuing this ideal. We will partner with companies, universities, not-for-profits, and service organizations in Dayton and around the world which give our students unique opportunities to acquire the experience and tools to make meaningful contributions in service to others.
Our vision of the future at The Miami Valley School is profound and challenging. It requires the sustaining support and focused resources of the entire MVS community. We hire teachers who embrace the defining ethos of The Miami Valley School Immersion Method; give our faculty the professional development and assessment resources to implement this vision for our students; and support them as they evolve the curriculum to stay current with the changes in our world. Our use and development of physical space and the time we spend at school must amplify our learning goals, not constrain them. Financial resources must be prioritized and a culture of philanthropy advanced to achieve our desired results. Perhaps most importantly, the collegial connections that make our school happy, productive, and forward-looking, will break down what separates us...across grade level, division, subject, student, teacher, parent, community...and build up what unites us: implementation of our collective vision.
Imagining the Future of MVS lays out a bold vision that builds on the past and looks toward the future. It is designed to provide the Head of School, Board of Trustees, administrators, and faculty with a strategic planning framework to guide priorities and decision making.